TRIPOLI, 29 November 2021 - The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is following with great concern the continued closure of Sebha Court of Appeal, in addition to reported threats against the judiciary. An armed group, allegedly affiliated to forces controlling Sebha, has reportedly, again, violently obstructed the work of the Sebha Court of Appeal. The reports also indicate that judges were physically prevented from conducting their legally mandated duties, directly impeding the electoral process.
UNSMIL is also alarmed by increasing reports of intimidation and threats against judges and judicial employees, particularly those dealing with electoral-related complaints, as well as against candidates, in a number of locations in Libya. UNSMIL strongly condemns all acts aimed at jeopardizing the integrity of the electoral process, preventing Libyans from exercising their democratic rights in safety and in dignity.
The Mission reminds all parties involved in obstructing the justice system that they are subject to criminal responsibility under Libyan law (criminal procedure code and Law. No.1 of 2021 on Presidential Elections) and may be subject to sanctions as per relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
UNSMIL reiterates its calls to relevant parties and authorities to take all feasible measures to facilitate the work of the judicial system with full respect for their independence. It urges all relevant security authorities to ensure equal access to due process for all candidates and guarantee the safety and security of judges and judicial employees.
The mission reiterated its commitment to holding the parliamentary and presidential elections, as per the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum Roadmap and as set out in UN Security Council resolution 2570 (2021). It requests the authorities and institutions to take all the necessary steps to ensure holding both elections as a free, fair inclusive, and credible process without intimidation or obstructions in the conditions of security. The Mission warns against any action that could serve to deprive Libyans of their right to democratically elect their representatives and undermine the holding of free, fair, inclusive, credible, and transparent elections.